Story and photos by Melissa Donald

Outdoor patio of Joella’s Hot Chicken in Middletown.

The Lunch: Joella’s Hot Chicken

Conveniently located in a shopping complex right off the Middletown exit from the Gene Snyder Freeway (I-265) is Joella’s Hot Chicken. An order at the counter and seat yourself kind of a place, Joella’s Southern specialty is fried chicken.

Hot, fried chicken, to be precise, with several spice levels to choose from. My favorite is Ella’s Fav, a mid-level spice that adds just enough kick without putting my whole mouth on fire. Hotter levels like the Tweener are available, or a no spice option for those who can’t take the heat.

One of my favorite chicken plates: Ella’s Fav quarter white with a side of broccoli coleslaw and macaroni and cheese. In the background is an order of Nutella Poppers and a glass of Cock-A-Doodle Brew beer.

Chicken plates come with a quarter piece of chicken and two sides for around $10. A popular side is the raw kale salad; also available as a full-sized salad with chunks of grilled chicken.

A full sized raw kale salad with chunks of grilled chicken. 

Save room for the biggest selling dessert – the Nutella Poppers. These are yummy pieces of fried dough with Nutella inside with a dusting of powdered sugar. Best when eaten while they are hot!

Bar area in Joella’s Hot Chicken – Middletown location. Beers on tap, and a small selection of wine and hard cider.

This is the only Joella’s Hot Chicken location in Louisville with a separate bar area. Joella’s has approximately 20 different beers available, including rotating drafts. A small selection of wine and hard cider are also available.

A variety of menu items including two chicken plates, a large raw kale salad with chicken, Nutella Poppers, and Cock-A-Doodle Brew amber beer.








The Fun: Beckley Creek Park – The Parklands of Floyds Fork

Travel to the Fun: Distance between Joella’s Hot Chicken and Beckley Creek Park (Shelbyville Road entrance), approximately 2.5 miles or 6 minutes.

First parking lot near the Blue Heron Road entrance off Shelbyville Rd.
Community gardens are located behind the pavilion. 

After lunch, drive just a few miles further east on Shelbyville Road to Beckley Creek Park. Take your Joella’s Hot Chicken to go and picnic in one of several different park locations. There’s the small shelter on the edge of Green Heron Lake, or the larger shelter near the Egg Lawn and PNC Achievement Center. Or, sit under the trees at the Oak Picnic Grove across from the Humana Grand Allee.

Small picnic shelter at the edge of Green Heron Lake.

Oak Picnic Grove situated across from the Humana Grand Allee parking area and boardwalk.

All picnic areas have access to trails. After lunch, hike, bike, walk your dog, paddle, picnic, fish, learn, and explore! Beckley Creek Park has approximately 10 different trails for all fitness levels. Enjoy natural vistas and wildlife viewing from several different vantage points. Ask an employee at the PNC Achievement Center for trail information. The Louisville Loop trail is a multi-purpose, paved trail that connects all four parks in The Parklands system and you will see people walking and biking on this trail.

Vista from the Humana Grand Allee boardwalk looking out towards the Oak Picnic Grove area.